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Polk County residents can now get cash for being vaccinated

County officials established a cash lottery incentive program to get more residents vaccinated.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Polk County officials want more residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine, so they have created a lottery to incentivize people to get the shot.

Residents already fully or partially vaccinated can register to win cash prizes or scholarships for young people right now. When registering either online, by paper, or over the phone, Polk County residents will have to provide the following information:

  • address
  • name
  • date of birth
  • phone number
  • email address

Using money from the American Rescue Plan, Polk County approved the vaccine incentive program during a Tuesday board of supervisors meeting.

Ten, $1,000 prizes will be awarded every Friday between June 25 and Aug. 22. Every other Friday, a $50,00 prize and a $5,000 scholarship will be handed out.

$50,000 drawings will be on June 25, July 9, July 24 and Aug. 20 with the potential for another $50,000 drawing on Aug. 27.

"I'm really anxious to get started and hopefully we're gonna get 62,000 more people vaccinated," supervisor Angela Connolly said. "That is our goal."

Black Hawk County has created a similar incentive program for its residents, and some other private businesses have offered gift cards or other services for vaccinated individuals. Right now, there is not a plan for a statewide vaccination incentive program.

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"This is a really important step in getting our community fully vaccinated and protecting those individuals who aren't able to get vaccinated," said Sarah Boese with the Polk County Board of Supervisors. "... And to really reduce our chances of seeing any kind of meaningful spread of any of the COVID variants."

The county will confirm that registered participants are fully vaccinated by checking vaccination records through the Iowa Immunizations Registry Information System.

The program ends Aug. 22 at midnight. Go to the county's website for more information.

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